Talwar Gallery is pleased to present, Painting Redux, a solo exhibition of works by Allan deSouza. The exhibition will open to the public on December 7 and run through January 15, 2013. Through the appropriation of iconic paintings, and his virtual, painterly process, deSouza in Painting Redux, traverses past and present, exploring collective and individual encounters with Western art history and canonical Western artists. The familiar, figurative sources of the works, through the process of deSouza’s overlaying are submerged in dense, mostly monochromatic palettes, subtly re-emerging on the surface in residual traces and flecks of color.
In the Redactions series, paintings by Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin have been redacted and reworked, where the color is extracted from the furthest point of the painting–usually the horizon–is brought forth to envelop the surface, obscuring the original image. While the works in Third Eye emerge from self-portraits of major Western artists, undergoing a painterly retransformation with the dominant color in each portrait selected from the site of the proverbial ‘third eye’.
There is heightened responsiveness in this body of work; from the seeming tactility of the medium, the variety of marks on the surface, texture in the translucency of erasure, and simultaneous overlaying seen in the most varied notations – from the lightness, the density, and the sheer luminosity of color. Hovering between figuration and abstraction, subjectivity and neutrality, the real and the fictional, Allan deSouza’s works excavate historical, cultural, and ideological constructs, examining the relationship between narratives of collective identity, individual experience, and art history.
"These might be abstractions but they have very real consequences, so as an artist it's not a question of abstraction or representation but to use whatever vocabularies are necessary to make the image strange or newly encountered, and to direct the viewer to what informs our framing values."
Allan deSouza’s works have been exhibited extensively including at The Pompidou Centre, Paris; Museum Kunst Palast, Germany; Moderna Museet, Sweden; Mori Art Museum, Japan; Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa; Hayward Gallery, UK; International Center of Photography, NY; Stedelijk Museum, The Netherlands; Museo Tamayo, Mexico; Memphis Brooks Museum, TN; Museum for African Art, NY; Smithsonian Museum, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gwangju Biennale, Korea; 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF; Fowler Museum, LA; Blaffer Art Museum, TX; and Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL. In 2011, on an invitation by The Phillip’s Collection, deSouza created The World Series in response to Lawrence’s Migration Series, and his work was subsequently featured in a solo exhibition at the museum along with Lawrence’s works.
deSouza was born in 1958 in Nairobi, Kenya to immigrant parents of Indian descent and grew up in the United Kingdom. In 1983, he graduated from the Bath Academy of Fine Art, England with a BA in Fine Art (Honors). From 1993-1994 he pursued Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Studies Program in New York, USA. He obtained his MFA in Photography from UCLA, California, USA in 1997.
He lives and works in the Bay Area, California, where he is Chair of the Department of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley. His recent publications include “How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change” (2018) and “Ark of Martyrs” (2020).